Client Personas: What They are and why Your Business Needs Them

by | Marketing

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Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Client Personas are Essential for Great Marketing 

Marketing campaigns that are precise and highly targeted yield the best results. But how can you generate results if you don’t know who to target? No matter what you’re selling, you’re always selling to people, which is why every company benefits from the creation of at least one client persona.

Client personas (or buyer personas) are the foundation of your marketing efforts. Without them, you won’t know what to say or what platforms to leverage. Client personas can drive real results for your brand when they are carefully crafted and used consistently.

What is a Client Persona?

A client persona is a semi-fictional, written representation of your ideal customer. It’s not meant to detail one specific person but is reflective of the group of people it represents. These descriptions are typically developed from customer insights and market research.

Because many organizations have more than one ideal customer, it’s common to group buyers into categories and develop several personas.

What are the Benefits of Creating a Client Persona?

Creating and using your personas helps ensure you implement successful, laser-focused marketing campaigns. The “one-size-fits-all” approach rarely works. And you’ll waste a lot of time and resources in the process. Building a campaign with detailed personas ensures the right people are seeing your message which means you are more likely to convert qualified leads.

Here are a few additional benefits:

 

  • Understand which messages appeal to your target market
  • Know where to reach your target market (i.e. – social media, email marketing, news releases, etc.)
  • Understand what hurdles you might face in the selling process
  • Understand the journey they take to make a purchase

Here’s What to Include

It is important to include as much details as possible. Each client persona should include details such as:

  • Demographic information: Age, gender, location, income, education, marital status and family situation.
  • Personal information: Hobbies, interests, buying habits and where they go for news and information.
  • Professional information: Job title, job duration, industry and career goals.
  • Challenges and pain points: Hurdles they face in their personal or professional life.
  • Research and Buying: How does your product/service address their pain; how and why they make purchasing decisions.

Ultimately, the goal is to create client personas for each of your main target markets so that it will be easier for you to understand their needs. This approach simplifies the marketing process because you can speak directly to each persona by utilizing your knowledge of the things that are most important to them.

Pro Tip: While your personas should be developed from data and customer insights, sometimes you’ll make edcucated guesses based on what you know. 

What if I Have no Idea Who my Best Customers Are?

If you’ve never worked through an exercise like this, it can seem like a daunting task.

My advice: start with your existing clients. Take a long, hard look at the people you already do business with. Even among a diverse group of clients, you’ll probably start to recognize similarities that can be used to describe your market.

A client persona doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.  If it brings clarity and focus to your marketing, then it’s working.

How do I Put my Personas to Work?

You need to consistently reference each client persona to ensure your marketing campaigns communicate the right message and leverage the right tools – by tools I mean blogs, videos, news releases, social posts, etc.  Consider that campaigns targeting a millennial customer will be very different from those aimed at their baby boomer parents.

Following this framework will allow you to get the most of your marketing budget and ensure that you achieve measurable results.  And remember, you will revise your personas as you collect more information about your best clients and as your company evolves.

Have more questions about client personas? Reach out to us directly.

Editor’s Note: This article was last updated in August 2021.

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